One of the places that I intern with assigned some homework over the weekend--watch the new Robin Hood film for a conference call discussion later on. I decided to get it the hell out of the way because I have no time this week. *(Note: I quote a particularly good review of the film from National Review, aka NR, in this blog).
OPENING REMARKS: Why, Hollywood? In your infinite wisdom, you failed to notice that people actually don't want to watch cheap, poorly-filmed, star-studded "re-tellings" of the orginal, impecable film/story. It was not worth the 2 hours of my life and the exorbitant Californian movie theater admission price of $11.75 to see this clap trap. I want at least $10.50 back, damn it. If I want to see the Robin Hood, I will watch The Adventures of Robin Hood made in 1938 with Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland - they got it right. Let it be.
Point 1: Russell Crowe, to this you have sunk. After Master and Commander, Gladiator, and 3:10 to Yuma, I thought he could do know wrong, or at least very little wrong...and then he let Ridley Scott talk him into this. Although more stylized and flamboyant, Errol Flynn's Robin Hood seems more masculine and likable, EVEN IN TIGHTS. Crowe looks like he is trying to immitate every other gritty, realistic character that he has done. LAME. ERROL FLYNN FOR THE WIN! (That rhymed!)
Point 2: Ridley Scott - I liked Blade Runner, Alien, and Gladiator. Again, why did he have to ruin his image by trying to "update" a classic. Not all classics are meant to be updated. Some of them are done so well, they can't be touched. The author of the NR article had a particularly good rebuke: "Apparently, Ridley Scott thought that he could do better than the bards and legend-makers. Instead--and I can't believe I'm saying this--he's produced a Robin Hood that makes Kevin Costner's Prince of Thieves look like a classic by comparison." OH SNAP! KEVIN COSTNER FOR THE WIN.
Point 3: I took High & Late Middle Ages as a history class. I at least have a basic undestanding of Medieval mindsets, society, and religion. This "new" Robin sounded more like a modern democratic git than a medieval marauder. Crowe's Robin is painted as a freedom fighter who does more than "steal from the rich and give to the poor." Ross Douthat stated "It turns out that our Robin isn't just a common archer at all: He's really the son of some democratic reformer from way back in the day...So next thing you know, "Magna Carta!" (NR 50). I applaud your research skills, Scott. Bravo. There are more historical and mythological mistakes, but they are so readily apparent that they are not worth mentioning. RESEARCH FAIL.
Point 4: Cate Blanchett's Maid Marion is a frickin' feminist. She even rides into battle at the end in full armor on horseback wielding a sword and leading a group of boys. Needless to say, she is still absolutely useless. Olivia de Havilland, you are still the best. FEMINIST FAIL.
Point 5: The Battle Scenes. Apparently, we are still in this horrid cinematic era in which the shaky camera is used in battle scenes to depict fighting "realistically." Well, I can't tell if it is realistic or not BECAUSE THE DAMN FRAME MOVES AROUND TOO FRICKIN MUCH! Can you tell that I loathe this style? If you put the effort into choreographing it, why not portray it well so we can see the fancy fighting? The ending sequence reminded me of a bad rendition of The Patriot and From Here to Eternity, with overly-dramatic slowmo fighting and Crowe-Blanchett cuddling. SHAKY CAMERA FAIL.
Point 6: Too many "Meanwhiles." I was sick of subtitles telling me the next location. Sherwood -France -London -random forest...blah blah blah. Too confusing. Is this about Robin or the ten bajillion other minor characters? And, how did everyone in England not notice the hundreds of French troops raiding the North? I give the plot an "F"...FOR FAIL!
P.S. I laughed at historical inaccuracies and bad dialogue through most of the film and got dirty looks from the other members of the audience the whole time. MADDIE WIN!